I would like to share this post from the blog The Ability To Love- Recovery From Psychopathic Abuse. When you have found yourself to be in a relationship (or suspect your are in a relationship) with a psychopath / sociopath / narcissist / pick-your-favorite-label, you are going to be extremely hurt, betrayed, confused, vulnerable, and looking for answers. This is true whether your psychopath is a romantic partner, a parent, a sibling, a child, or some other important person in your life. Many survivors are so fragile that they commit suicide. This is not a game — it is REAL.
These days, there are many blogs about psychopathy, endless books, newspaper articles, documentaries, and online support forums. There are survivors and there are experts. You will hear a cacophony of voices telling you this and that. Some are more knowledgeable than others. A few of the experts who write about psychopathy do not seem to have the lived experience to back up their research, or they focus on sub-populations like criminal psychopaths. Many survivors tell their stories eloquently, with lived experience — but they are not always far along the healing path and they do not have the broad strokes of all the many ways in which psychopathy presents itself. Psychopaths seem to be cut from the same cloth — so many similarities, you think they must have all read the same manual. But each one has a slightly different twist. Why? Because each one has a slightly different slant on what they are after, and each one tailor-makes a mask designed for YOU.
So you really need to read A LOT to get the big picture and decide if it applies to your situation. Neither experts nor survivors agree on all the traits of a psychopaths, but most overlap on the traits they list.
When you begin to suspect the one you love is a psychopath, you will likely seek out a support forum. You will have doubts and questions, and you will want to talk about your story and thresh it out. Just be aware that not ALL support forums are healing places, managed by people who are interested in YOU and your care and growth. In some ways, psychopathy has become a “fashionable” topic, and some unscrupulous people have written books and created forums to exploit survivors for monetary gain. Such forums can be toxic environments where you are demanded to stick to the “party line” and not think for yourself. You are not allowed to ask the difficult questions or express a difference of opinion without being chastised, or even worse, banned. These forums may not be run by psychopaths necessarily, but the online social environment manufactured will make you feel like you are being victimized yet again. You will find yourself being treated in ways that feel eerily similar to how your psychopath treated you.
The article I’ve re-blogged gives some good tips for negotiating online forums and warns of some of the dangers. My word of warning is to be careful how and where you open up when you are most vulnerable. Don’t be discouraged, though. There are MANY resources out there. Pick the ones that are right for you. Even in reading survivor blogs, remember that some writers are further along the path than others, and some writers have more insight than others. Look for honesty and integrity, even if a survivor’s blog shows that they are still on the healing journey, still showing the ragged edges of their pain.
To some extent, online support forums mirror the sociological problems found in all human-created groups. There will be cliques, gossip, power struggles, and gurus who “know it all.” This occurs in politics, in schools, in churches, in non-profit organizations, and in every sphere of human endeavor. One big red flag is when the online forum is more devoted to making money than in the well-being of members. It’s sad what we humans do sometimes. Just remember that you are especially vulnerable, and you do not have to remain in an online support forum that feels toxic or unfair to you.
If you are far enough along in your healing, negative experiences in online support forums will hone your skills in creating healthy boundaries and recognizing what is and what isn’t good for YOU. Honing these skills will help you toward your healing, and will also help you prevent future entanglements with psychopath. Learn to love and respect yourself. Do not allow yourself to be mistreated.
Written with love…
Terms and Conditions of Use
All content provided on this DogDharma blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.